Yesterday, I was in Leeds to hear Research England (RE) and Innovate UK (IUK) spell out the approach of their parent body – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – to place and to find out more about the new Strength in Places Fund (SPIF). For those unfamiliar with the alphabet soup of acronyms and institutional arrangements in the UK higher education sector, RE and IUK are ‘constituent members’ of the UKRI family of councils.
On Thursday, I had the pleasure of being in Hull to attend two events organised by The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) that were designed to illustrate the work of the LEP and its partners over the past year, and to also showcase a blueprint for a new local industrial strategy that the LEP is putting out to public consultation. Both meetings were part of the annual ‘Business Week’ programme.
Read the latest think piece from our colleague, Bill Walker the Director of Strategic Relationships and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Hull on the importance of place and the Industrial Strategy.
In October 2017, the Department for Education (DfE), on behalf of the Office for Students (OfS), launched a formal consultation on a new Regulatory Framework (RF) for the HE sector. The consultation will inform the approach taken by the OfS in its new regulatory role, enacting legislation laid out in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.2
On 29 November 2017, the YU Board (comprising the region’s vice-chancellors) met Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the OfS, in Leeds. At the meeting, YU was encouraged to submit a response to the consultation and in particular to consider how the RF should reflect the importance of ‘place’. This dimension has been given added significance following the publication of the Industrial Strategy White Paper. The YU response is designed to complement individual HE institution submissions and those made by national-level HEI membership bodies.
So, ten months after the government trailed its set of initial ideas for a ‘new’ approach to industrial policy in the UK, the long-awaited Industrial Strategy White Paper has been published today. In seeking to navigate a course through the choppy waters of an uncertain Brexit, diminishing productivity and widening regional and local economic disparities, the White Paper is, to some extent, seeking to lay out a long-term framework for building on some of the opportunities and addressing some of the structural economic challenges facing the UK.